|Wrestling Doll Pulled From Shelves at Wal-Mart
Based on the objections of Sabrena Parton and the manager of its Cartersville, Georgia store, Wal-Mart has removed a World Wrestling Federation doll from its shelves. The doll is a replica of WWF wrestler Al Snow, who carries a female mannequin's head (called "Head") with him as part of his "gimmick." The mannequin head, which has the words "HELP ME" scribbled backwards on her forehead (the same words always appear on Snow's forehead as well) comes with the doll.The two issues I'd like to address are Ms. Parton's objections and the fact it's being marketed to children ages four and older.
Ms. Parton's belief that a WWF wrestler doll carrying around a female mannequin's head endorses the brutalization of women is both an exaggerated and unfounded reaction. Had Ms Parton investigated the role that Mr. Snow's "Head" plays in his ongoing WWF mini-drama (all featured WWF wrestlers have "myths" and preposterous story lines associated with their characters), she would have learned that the "psychologically traumatized" (a description quoted from Mr. Snow's WWF website) Al Snow takes directions and receives advice from "Head." This disembodied mannequin is always at his side.
Absurd? Of course. Silly? Clearly. An endorsement of the physical abuse of women? Oh come now, Ms. Parton. If "Head" were a male mannequin's head, would this mean that the doll was encouraging kids to brutalize men, and tear their heads off?
Ms. Parton is right on target, however, with her objection that marketing this doll to kids 4 and older is wrong. The obscene, hateful, racist, drug-laced world of the WWF (the most watched block of TV programming in America) should not be marketed in the form of this doll or any of its other paraphernalia to preschoolers, who are unable to distinguish between fantasy and reality.Young kids might indeed see this wrestling doll as one who proudly displays the head of a real woman, not a mannequin. Do you want your little ones trying to make sense of the messages that this reality would convey?
When it comes to parents' buying toys for their kids, the letters WWF should translate to XXX. Your kids deserve much better.